Jon Greendeer, the president of the Ho-Chunk Nation, will speak at Winona State University Tuesday as part of Native American Heritage Month.

Greendeer, whose mother is Ho-Chunk and father is Oneida, grew up on the Oneida reservation. The married father of two struggled with weight issues in his younger years and recently lost 145 pounds. He also stopped drinking in 1998 and stopped smoking in 2005 and said maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important personally and also for the younger generation’s future.

He was a single father when he enrolled in college at age 29, bringing his daughter to classes with him when space allowed. He graduated from UW-Stevens Point in 2004 with a degree in political science and went on to get a job in the Nation’s office of the president, where he worked for three years before taking a position in the Department of Personnel in employment relations.

His interest in tribal government has its roots in collegiate political science courses, where he became intrigued by sovereignty and the relationship between tribes and the federal government.

Greendeer will speak at 7 p.m. in the East Hall of WSU’s Kryzsko Commons. The event is free and open to the public.

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